Trim with Rhinestones for Chanel Inspired Jacket or Dress

sewing tutorial about how to sew Chanel trim

Elena Tran the dressmaker

by Elena Tran

There are so many creative ideas for trims that can elevate your Chanel inspired jacket or dress to the level of haute couture. I recently completed another big project for Chanel inspired dress where I made a trim from smaller remnants of silk fabrics I had in my stash (another reason not to throw any fabrics out). Here is the video with step-by-step sewing tutorial instructions:


Begin by measuring the length of your trim and by drawing the design on the paper. You need to know the width of your trim, how many squares you need, how many rhinestones to order, etc. I ended up with this list of items for the trim you see on the video:

The story around the stones was very interesting and a good lesson to us all. The rhinestones come in different colours and sizes. The ones you see selling online are measured in millimeters, such as 14mm, 10mm, 8mm, 7mm and so on. I ordered my first 6mm sew-on stones in metal settings but when they arrived (about two months later), I was disappointed because the 6mm stones were measured from metal clasp to metal clasp, which made the diameter of the stone itself a dismal 4mm. Lesson learned. 

My next order was 7mm from another dealer, which made the stones themselves measure almost 6mm, but now the metal setting of those stones was much higher than what I wanted.  To cut the long story short, I had to order sew-on flat back 7mm stones with two small holes drilled on the sides. The problem with sew-on flat back stones is that your threads will be visible at the points of attachment, but invisible thread or simply matching the thread will take care of that problem.

If you've ever done simple quilting, you know the process already. Stitch the strips of fabric together, press. Then cut the long strips into smaller pieces. Join those together until you have the full length of the trim. The trick to this process (and the way to keep your sanity) is to lay out all the pieces and stitch them methodically following the pattern.

The next step is reinforcing the trim. I used Shantung organza for the backing because this fabric is sturdier than other types of silk. I stitched the trim and the backing together and turned the trim to the right side. 

Then I attached the sew-on rhinestones and attached the trim to the pockets and the front of the Chanel inspired tweed dress. 

One final word of advice: be precise and patient. Precision is important because if you don't have the exact seam allowances and even stitching on all your pieces, you will see it in the finished trim. Why patience is important in this project? You will have a lot of repetitive tasks, small pieces and very many pieces to work with. Take breaks and do something else if you start to lose patience. This project was so much fun for me and I hope that you will have the same enjoyment and reward as I did. 


trim with sew-on rhinestones for Chanel inspired dress


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